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View JoeyG's profile

What is your favorite wood and why?

by JoeyG
posted 03-25-2012 03:57 PM


28 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15538 posts in 1093 days


#1 posted 03-25-2012 04:00 PM

I only work with local wood I can cut myself. But my favorite to work with is Ash.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#2 posted 03-25-2012 04:05 PM

I haven’t worked with Ash. I do like the grain and color. That’s cool that you cut your own lumber.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View jjw5858's profile

jjw5858

1121 posts in 1357 days


#3 posted 03-25-2012 04:20 PM

Hey JoeyG, great forum. I really love working with Cherry. It seems to turn and carve nice and I like the aroma, the grain as well as the color. Hard to pick a fav….but Cherry it is..at least today…even though I am currently working with Maple…lol Would love to work with Walnut, just have not had the chance yet.

Take care,

Joe

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#4 posted 03-25-2012 04:29 PM

Hi Joe, I really enjoy working with Cherry and Walnut as well. When I first began learning to build cabinets, Cherry was my favorite. When I began building boxes, I think Walnut was my favorite. Maple and I have a tough time together. I love the way it looks, but hate the way it works.

Thanks for adding to the discussion.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#5 posted 03-25-2012 04:30 PM

I’ve been thinking about picking up some Cocobolo at some point myself Jonathan. Is it hard to work?

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3155 days


#6 posted 03-25-2012 04:51 PM

Joe: I’ve got about 10 boards of Chechem and the grain is beautiful but is varied on each of the boards.

I’ve got a couple of small pieces of Bubingia but I’ve used some of the veneer of that species and it’s great.

I’ve got some small pieces of Santos Rosewood veneer but haven’t used it yet for anything.

I think that the wood that I love to use is Ambrosia Maple. I made my kitchen cabinets in NJ out of that wood. I hated to sell the house.

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-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#7 posted 03-25-2012 04:57 PM

Hi Karson, Ambrosia Maple is another of my favorites. I found some really crazy ambrosia a while back. I still have a few small pieces left after making my dolphin boxes. That’s a beautiful kitchen. I am looking forward to redoing mine at some point. I haven’t worked in veneers in years and then it was for curved surfaces. I am jealous of you horde of Chechen. I tried to talk my wife into letting me have the credit card this morning. When she saw what website I was on she took my whole wallet. LOL

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View ITnerd's profile

ITnerd

261 posts in 1354 days


#8 posted 03-25-2012 05:26 PM

Persimmon. Diospyros Virginiana – the only member of the ebony family native to our shores. I love it because the grain near knots is fantastic, and looks great with nothing more than BLO & wax. It is also tough as all hell – it was used for golf club heads back in the day.

I also have squirrelled away some small exotics, but sadly just of the tool handle size. I am trying to get to where the larger things I build come from local woods. I’m very lucky to have a decent source near the city, Eutree. Call Joel & Simms if you are within reach of Atlanta.

I’ve found Persimmons, Beech, Cherry, Magnolia, Holly and Walnut, among the Oaks there. Christine has a reverse House Arrest bracelet on me that goes off when I take thier highway exit.

Beech is another under-rated wood – sadly, if you use it for anything but hand planes, St. Peter has to make a bad mark beside your name. And Larry Williams will come for you in the night. Nice enough man I’d imagine by his videos, but not someone you want to see coming down a dark alley swinging a coopers jointer.

As a semi-related side note, I’ve got to stop reading about wooden hand planes.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#9 posted 03-25-2012 05:38 PM

Hi Chris, I must say that my favorite tree is Beech. That being said, I have never even considered using one as lumber. I may have to rethink that.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View ITnerd's profile

ITnerd

261 posts in 1354 days


#10 posted 03-25-2012 05:58 PM

Great stuff Joey, have at it. Larrys website has an article about its beneficial properties from a hand tool perspective, but it also made some of the most beautiful cabinets I’ve ever seen. Flecking from the rays on quartersawn cuts will get most woodworkers going. Matt Bickford has proof. :)

As a side note, try to make sure your chechen is fully dried & not containing any bark or sap before you have at it. Chechem is Metopium brownei, aka Black Poisonwood. The sap from the live plant is something you do not want to become familiar with. When you are on vacation. Drunk. On a Key in Florida. Just saying.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 2108 days


#11 posted 03-25-2012 06:03 PM

If I went by what I use the most I’d have to say oak, because the trim and a lot of other things in my house are oak so it matches.

But I really like maple and walnut and wenge (when I use it) because of the contrast it affords when combining these woods.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2089 days


#12 posted 03-25-2012 06:06 PM

I think wood is a little like food, variety is best and some woods are better suited to some projects than others. I have almost no experience with exotics, but one wood I love to work with is Mahogany, another is Ash because some pieces with pretty wild grains can be found. Another favorite of mine is White Oak because it works well, is pretty stable and surprisingly easy to plane and cut. Otherwise I see lots of other wood types that look wonderful, but which I don’t have access to aside from some small pieces I have of Walnut, Maple, Cocobolo, and African Blackwood. Locally we have Birch, Alder, Oak, Beech and Pine for the most part. I did get some Lindenwood last week for carving. It is similar to Basswood and it smells terrible, but it carves well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2089 days


#13 posted 03-25-2012 06:07 PM

I think wood is a little like food, variety is best and some woods are better suited to some projects than others. I have almost no experience with exotics, but one wood I love to work with is Mahogany, another is Ash because some pieces with pretty wild grains can be found. Another favorite of mine is White Oak because it works well, is pretty stable and surprisingly easy to plane and cut. Otherwise I see lots of other wood types that look wonderful, but which I don’t have access to aside from some small pieces I have of Walnut, Maple, Cocobolo, and African Blackwood. Locally we have Birch, Alder, Oak, Beech and Pine for the most part. I did get some Lindenwood last week for carving. It is similar to Basswood and it smells terrible, but it carves well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#14 posted 03-25-2012 06:44 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. On a side note, I will also list a wood that I will never, ever, ever work with again if I can help it. That’s Bocote. I bought a small piece I thought I might use for handles. I decided to use a part of it as a lid on a pencil box. I finally had to put in a drawer for a while. Maybe I will pull it out at another time and try to finish it but right now I want to throw it in the fireplace. The only thing stopping me is how bad it would smell burning. And speaking of smell. It’s simply awful. I love the yellow/black grain patterns of it, but the feel of the wood, how it works, and how it smells will keep it out of my shop if I have a say in it.

On a good note, I enjoy working with Mahogany. It is a great wood. I am currently bidding on a hostess station. I gave them a price on both Cherry and Mahogany. I am hoping they will choose Mahogany. It will be the largest thing I have built with it. I have built huge kitchens out of Cherry and would like to try a large project something besides the norm. I should find out next week. I am working on a Mahogany box right now. The inlay is curly maple. Here’s a preview….

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View Keith Stephens's profile

Keith Stephens

4 posts in 2214 days


#15 posted 03-25-2012 07:07 PM

Joey, like you I have fetish for rosewood. I love the stuff…the smell, the colors, the silky feel.

As you will see, I am a bit of a purest about what is a rosewood. All true rosewoods are in the Dalbergia genus. Marketing gurus have attached the rosewood name to other woods just to make them more desireable. Bolivian Rosewood(Morado), Carribean Rosewood(Chechen), African Rosewood(Bubinga) are good exomples. These are all great woods but the are not rosewoods.

HERE is a blog about rosewood and attached is an article by Dick Boak, Manager of the Wood Products Division of C. F. Martin & Co. Check it out.

-- Keith Stephens

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#16 posted 03-25-2012 07:33 PM

Thanks Keith. I have been reading up on Rosewoods. I will give the article a read. While I doubt that I will develop a purist attitude, one never knows. As I use them more, I am sure I will weed out the ones I like or don’t like. True rosewood or other wise.

Once again thanks for the link, I am off to give it a read.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View jaykaypur's profile

jaykaypur

3464 posts in 1163 days


#17 posted 03-25-2012 10:04 PM

I know so little about wood and am on such a limited budget that my most favorite wood to date, is the one I happen to be working with at the time. LOL

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View SisQMark's profile

SisQMark

382 posts in 1355 days


#18 posted 03-25-2012 10:35 PM

Hi Joey,
How have you been? Busy I suppose. I would say walnut is about my favorite domestic wood to work with. Have you ever worked with blood wood? A fresh cut into a piece produces a very intoxicating fruity smell that’s like nothing else. This has got to be my favorite exotic. When finished it just looks (What these kids now days say,l “Sick”) the depth & grain kind of look like tigers eye to me. On the other hand planing it is a bugger, tear out is a problem. I found a new to me species called Morado. It reminds me of rosewood with the contrasting grain. If you want to see some just check out my latest project ” My first knife handle”. But over all, I can appreciate just about all woods. I just dig working with wood. Every kind of wood is a potential masterpiece just waiting to be born from our imagination. Take care.
Mark~

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#19 posted 03-25-2012 10:57 PM

Hi Jaykaypur, I know what you mean. When someone ask me how much one of my boxes cost, a lot of times it depends on what I want to get at the lumberyard next. LOL

How’s it going Mark? I’ve been good. I think I am going to order some of those dremel bits tonight. Have you got yours yet? How are they?

Walnut is one of my all times favorites also. I like that knife handle. I will have to look into the Morado some more. To answer your question yes, I have worked with Bloodwood. And Padauk. They look smell and feel very similar to me and are one of my favorites. Are Bloodwood and Padauk the same? I don’t know. The best I can tell is bloodwood has a redder color, while Padauk is more orange. If you check out my “peace turtle” box you will see a good example of it.

Have a great evening Mark, talk with ya next time.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View SisQMark's profile

SisQMark

382 posts in 1355 days


#20 posted 03-26-2012 12:05 AM

Joey, I’m good.You know padauk is also a favorite, but I think blood wood is quite harder than padauk. You can feel the difference in weight. I’m still waiting on the bits to come, maybe tomorrow, jeez it takes a long time for Hong Kong. I’ll let you know how they are when I get a chance to use them, whenever they get here. LOL Have a good night Joey.
Mark~

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6058 posts in 2183 days


#21 posted 03-26-2012 12:25 AM

I really like walnut. I think it’s pretty and works easily.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3209 posts in 2578 days


#22 posted 03-26-2012 12:40 AM

My favorite is all the one I can get my hands on…lol but if I could only have one that Black Curly Cherry would be the one it finishes up so sweet and ages wonderfully…

View Tokolosi's profile

Tokolosi

673 posts in 1110 days


#23 posted 03-26-2012 12:44 AM

Great topic. So much usefull info. Think I’ll give Bocote a skip then.

My personal favorite is found wood. I love turning trash into sonething usefull. :)

My experience with wood types is limited but I do love Walnut. The smell, the colors, the touch of it.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#24 posted 03-26-2012 01:02 AM

Hey black cherry. I would have never guessed you like black cherry. Just kidding. Those are some awesome boxes there. I started to get some cherry the last time I was at the lumberyard, but I decided not to. I always forget how much I love it until I see examples like yours.

Tokolosi Found wood is great, but I haven’t been having much luck with that lately. I am sure there a lot of people out there who really like Bocote, I am just not sure I want to work with it again. The grain is great, I just don’t know if it’s worth the dust. Here is what I got done before I decided to put it in a drawer for awhile.

I really like the direction it is going but man has it been a battle to get it here

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1380 days


#25 posted 03-26-2012 01:03 AM

Those end pieces are zebrawood I thought they went well together

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1987 days


#26 posted 03-26-2012 01:10 AM

My absolute favorite is free wood. But that species can be very hard to come by sometimes… And why? Because I am a cheap son of a gun…

Otherwise I prefer to work with stuff that grows natively around here, meaning Pecan, Mesquite, and Southern Yellow Pine. Why? Mostly because I feel the stuff that is being cut for lumber would otherwise be cut up smaller and stuffed into smokers, some of it into mine, at least the hardwood anyway… It’s sustainable, and the end products provide a good piece of local tradition… It fits the environment where I am as it were…

Aside from local species, I also tend to prefer walnut, and maple, the more figured the better, and of course quarter sawn white oak for the ray flecking.

Pecan isn’t the easiest wood to work with, but the results are often stunning…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View fishbone's profile

fishbone

23 posts in 1591 days


#27 posted 03-26-2012 08:37 PM

After working with Bubinga, your next project will be sharpening jointer blades, planer blades and the saw. That stuff eats tools.
But, when sanded out, finished, rubbed and waxed, it’s like a car fender. LOL Never again !

Mahogany is one of my favorites. You have to watch for punky boards now and then. That’s like sanding a blanket.

-- Sleep every morning till I'm done. Life is good. Habanero Hog Competion BBQ

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

1543 posts in 1022 days


#28 posted 03-29-2012 02:08 AM

My absolute favorite wood is sepele. It works well, finishes to perfection, and even makes the shop smell like incense. The most beautiful woods I know are redwood burls and figured movingui. Redwood burl is just so intricate and figured movingui looks holographic in the light.

All that said, quartersawn White Oak and figured Black Walnut are about as beautiful a combination as I know, and there is something honest about the combination and the feel of them. Boiled Swiss Pear finishes beautifully as does Persimmon though it needs a little stain to bring out the grain’s look. It is a joy to work with fine woods and be privileged to peer into the clarified souls of ancient trees.

-- Big Al in IN

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